If you have browsed this website over the last couple of days, you may have seen a short video titled, “What Keeneland Means to Me.” This video shows short interviews of racing fans and their explanations of what Keeneland Race Course means to them. I was recently given the opportunity to spend five race days at Lexington’s main attraction, and I have compiled my own thoughts on what Keeneland means to me as well.
The town of Lexington is filled with genuine, pleasant and kind people who go out of their way to help people and truly make your experience in their town eventful.
During my visit, I was invited to two farms (one of which, will be the subject of my next blog), a barbecue, a concert and many other events. Every restaurant I visited, the staff was extremely welcoming and offered great customer service. The restaurant staff would chat with guests about the Keeneland races and give great advice on local places. At Keeneland, the workers were always very accommodating, accessible and aware of any customer needs. At times, I felt as if I was visiting another planet. I don’t believe I ran into anyone that was perceived as disgruntled or unhappy. My boss, Joe Kristufek, always says that, “negativity breeds negativity.” While I feel this statement is true, I believe that, “positivity breeds positivity.” From the moment I stepped foot into Lexington, I literally had a smile on my face, because it was too hard to be unhappy in this town.
Lexington, a true racing town, is surrounded by miles of horse farms and gas stations that sell race programs. Every day, I observed local news coverage on the day’s race card, and I visited plenty of restaurants/bars that were fully decked out in memorabilia from horse racing’s yesteryear. Famous for its boutique race meets (a small number of race dates in a short period of time), Keeneland and the town of Lexington are a very unique place during the fall. The people of Lexington have a sense of urgency to visit the track before the season ends and it is too late. Even though I only spent a limited amount of time at Keeneland, it seemed like every day was a Triple Crown race day. Each day I went to the track, large amounts of people would arrive and treat the races as the biggest thing to ever enter their town. Due to the amount of betting positions available, people were pleased with zero lines at the betting machines. With many decked out in their favorite, trendy garb and a program in hand, they were focused on the races.
Based on my experience, Keeneland means this to me:
This track is exactly what I feel is the ideal model for what I would hope many tracks could eventually become one day. It was moving to see how much Keeneland appreciated and welcomed its fans that truly had a passion for the sport. Keeneland and the town of Lexington welcomed me and will continue to welcome others with open arms.
Have you ever been to Keeneland? Share your story below in the comment section.